The Chinese City of Wuhan banned the trade and eating wild animals for five years – a new policy that went into effect on May 13.
Hubei Province, in which Wuhan is the capital city, passed a law last March, proposing to ban the consumption of wild animals completely, including those bred or raised by farmers.
China’s central government blocked all trade and consumption of wildlife in February with a temporary law, but it did not specify if it includes farm-raised ones,
According to a government report from 2017, China’s overall wildlife trade is worth around 520 billion yuan ($73 billion).
This comes after provinces across China promised financial aid for wildlife breeders to switch to other trades.
The southern province of Hunan announced that it would subsidize all farms that was granted official license to breed and raise wild animals.
The new regulation covers wildlife and its byproducts, forbids consumption of all wild animals on land and endangered and protected wild aquatic species, and prohibits hunting wild animals across Wuhan.
Medical and scientific organizations must undergo strict applications to take a special hunting license and quarantine inspections should they need to use wild animals for non-food related research.
The regulation also states that organizations or individuals are not allowed to produce, process, use or conduct commercial operations with wildlife or wildlife products specified by the document.
Citizens are also forbidden to encourage or persuade others to eat or conduct illegal trading of wild animal, which includes releasing advertisements and publishing recipes.
Officials will use the national social credit system to punish violators of the new regulation, and authorities will increase the inspections to prevent exotic animal trading.
The state newspaper People’s Daily wrote that the temporary ban is “essential” and “urgent” to help the country win its was against the pandemic.
While the exact source of SARS-CoV-2 remains unconfirmed, experts believe that it originated wild animals.